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Sleep Disorders

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Leg Syndrome is a neurologic sensorimotor disorder in which a person has an overwhelming urge to move their legs when they are at rest.

RLS is similar to periodic limb movement syndrome (PLMS), but RLS occurs when the person is awake while PLMS occurs during sleep. The urge to move the legs is usually accompanied by an unpleasant sensation for people with RLS. In rare cases, some people experience RLS symptoms in other parts of the body, such as the arms, face, torso, and genital region. RLS symptoms can disrupt a person's daily life, but tends to be most severe during evening and nighttime hours and can dramatically affect a person's ability to fall asleep.

There are two forms of RLS, the primary and secondary. The primary form of RLS are cases where people with RLS do not have any other disorders which can be related to the condition. The secondary form of RLS are cases when RLS can be related to other conditions, such as kidney failure, pregnancy, or iron deficiency anemia. In some cases, RLS can be caused or be worsened by taking certain medications, which is also considered a secondary form of RLS. The primary form of RLS accounts for approximately 40%-60% of RLS diagnoses.

RLS affects both men and women of all ages, but the severity of the disorder appears to increase with age, as older people with RLS tend to experience symptoms more frequently and for longer periods of time. The exact cause for RLS is currently unknown, but recent evidence suggest that there may be a genetic component involved. In a study conducted in the U.S. and U.K., of 10,000 families, more than 70% of children who had RLS had at least one parent who also had the condition.

Epidemiology

Click on the link above to view epidemiologic information related to RLS. This will include information which relates to the incidence and distribution of RLS across a population. This will also include information regarding the prevalence of RLS across a population in relation to specific factors, such as ethnicity, age, gender, etc...

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Click on the link above to view information regarding the diagnosis of RLS. This will describe the preferential methods used to identify patients who suffer from RLS.

Treatment

Click on the link above to view information regarding the treatment of RLS. This will describe the latest techniques used to help treat patients suffering from RLS, as well as the rate of success and possible implications of using the respective treatment.

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